Global lockdowns may still be in place, but connecting with key
stakeholders must go on — which is exactly what HP Malaysia endeavoured
to do during its 2020 annual product launch and partner event ‘Creators
Brand experience agency, Pico Global, was brought in to deliver the
event, with a brief that demanded personalisation and out-of-the-box
thinking. HP Malaysia used the 14 October online event to deliver
partner-focused messages from top executives, including business
director Alex Tan, and to unveil new products and services in fresh
ways, while integrating augmented reality (AR) and gamification to keep
virtual attendees entertained.
"The HP Malaysia team has worked tirelessly to put together this
fantastic and exciting virtual experience that will bring your
creativity to life," said Vivian Chua, vice president and head of
Malaysia & Singapore for HP Inc.
Pivoting the annual event from a physical to digital format, required
Pico's planning team to jump through a few hurdles. This included
transcending international boundaries, nailing a product showcase to
media who were unable to physically touch or experience the gadgets, and
executing an awards ceremony for more than 50 awardees — all in a
With increasing reports of ‘Zoom fatigue’ and struggles to keep
engagement levels up, especially for longer events, AR, gamification and
3D animation were employed to connect the audience to the brand.
The morning started off with a virtual press conference live streamed
on YouTube, followed by the partner event, which was broadcast via a
customised Vimeo platform. HP Malaysia pre-recorded as much content as
possible in studios in Singapore and Malaysia — this included welcome
addresses, new product launches and walk throughs, and an immersive
awards ceremony for partners.
At the morning conference, attendees were treated to four virtual
stage sets — dubbed ‘Soho’, ‘Lifestyle’, ‘Gaming’ and ‘Creative Studio’ —
complementing different speakers while simultaneously segregating the
product types. Since it was impossible to personally touch the gadgets
and see their functions, Pico did away with the traditional video,
instead using AR technology fused with gamified elements — a first for
So how did it work? During the live webcast, the emcee invited media
to trigger the AR effects by scanning an HP logo with their mobile
phones, which instantly revealed product names and photos. Additionally,
viewers tuning in to the live stream were encouraged to take a
screenshot of the AR experience and share it via social media for a
chance to win a prize. Lucky draws were also woven into the experience
to maintain engagement momentum.
After viewing the AR product launch, more than 50 partners were also
expecting to receive awards — but none of them saw the surprise coming
their way, as each of them was 'transformed' into a 3D avatar.
Pico had previously experimented with 3D avatar animation for another
client, but doing so for an online awards ceremony was new territory.
To build the avatars, the team “visited the winner’s Facebook page,
downloaded images to capture physical characteristics, and used that
data to remotely create hyper-realistic avatars," explained Tay Ling,
general manager at TBA Hong Kong (a Pico Group company). "This allowed
[HP’s partners] to go through the virtual ‘blue carpet’ without
revealing the secret or winner,” he said.
At the ceremony, the winners were ‘suited up’ as robots dashing down a
high-tech corridor to the future. Videos of the animation were later
sent to winners to share on social media, further increasing the brand’s
“This provided the event’s surprising ‘wow factor’, and it was also
extremely personalised and shareable. It was such out-of-the-box
thinking that helped the client to achieve a real 'first-of-its-kind'
awards ceremony,” said Ling.
As a result of Pico’s innovation push, the media event on YouTube
garnered over 4,000 views, while HP Malaysia received “overwhelming
responses from the AR Launch Gambit and 3D avatar animation award
presentation," remarked Jess How, country marketing lead, HP Malaysia.
"The event was a truly immersive, high-tech milestone for media and our
Said partner Lee Boon Yin from SRKK Computer Sdn Bhd, “We were so
impressed with the virtual event and it is our first time ever attending
such a different e-award ceremony”.
“As a business partner, being connected with HP is crucial during
this pandemic. HP has done it differently, full of excitement and
surprises,” added Chong Yew Fatt, CTC Global Sdn Bhd.
Ultimately, Ling believes the key to engagement is empathy.
“We employ empathy right across the experiential journey. Also, by
using data to craft insights. This enables us to use technology not as a
tool, but as a means to use content to connect consumers to brands.
These ideas can apply to the avatar animation and AR launch gambit, and
could also be applied with a 360 web VR platform, or even through
extended reality for content generation,” he said.
• Use different platforms to connect with different audiences
• AR technology allowed users to see products come ‘alive’ on their mobile phones
• Used data and social media to personalise content and create "wow factor" moments online
• Integrate gamification to boost engagement